Moore Large opened its doors to give dealers a look at the very latest from Barracuda, Knog, Velorbis and an extra large helping of other top-notch brands, prototypes and products. Jonathon Harker joined the retailer throngs at the distributor’s Derby show rooms at the Dealer Days and seminars...


Moore Large squeezed plenty of product into its show rooms, revealing a huge selection of treasures at its week-long trade show just over a month ago. Hundreds of attendees grabbed the chance to see the latest products and brands.

The news from the distributor itself was upbeat – ML told BikeBiz that bike sales were up and parts and accessories sales had performed well too. IBDs can expect more of the same, says ML, with the twin stables of bikes and accessories serving up top-notch product for retailers and consumers alike…

Moore Large’s guided tour of the show began with some exclusive brands, including pavement bike brand BUMPER. Created by ML, Bumper remains a top choice for IBDs seeking a quality and value for money junior bike range, according to ML, who also predicted that it will shine this year. ML told BikeBiz that further Bumper developments are planned following the succesful launch of the Bumper Junior helmets range last October.

Meanwhile, the BARRACUDA display included a huge range of new bikes for 2009. Boasting aluminium frames and Shimano components, the range has matured into a diverse offering. Developed with the IBD mid-sector in mind, the first from the new line-up is the RS1 – 24. This 24 inch Road Bike offers young riders a rare route to road cycling at £249.95. Also of interest to dealers were expanded Hybrid and Trekking bike ranges, taking Barracuda into new territory. The ’09 Barracuda line-up also has tandems, MTBs and even hexagonal framed bikes.

Another of Moore Large’s own brands – FREE SPIRIT, was also on show. The distributor assures us no corners have been cut with the line-up of 20 to 26 inch models equipped with full Shimano transmission including Shimano Revo Shifters. ML’s HARO had centre stage with an expanding range including Comfort MTBs and Cruisers with an impressive line up of BMX and 26 inch MTBs.

ML has already established itself as a major player in the entry-level market and its ambition to take on the high-end was much in evidence, not least of all with BASSO. The high-end brand was created in 1972 and boasts Italian-made bikes that can be tailor-made to fit consumer’s and dealer’s needs.

Brand new for ‘09 is the Astra. Available in six colours, the four-leaf clover shape is a super stiff frame. Also in the range are the Devil Cross, the Devil Donna the Reef, Zero 9 and the Track. The brand is also set to get a big marketing push this year. In stores the brand will be backed by a range of merchandising, while full product training will be offered by ML’s Basso brand manager Adam Biggs

ONZA’s fixed and city bikes also featured prominently. The brand, picked up in 1998, includes the forthcoming Onza Uno – a prototype of which was on show at the event. Meanwhile the Deco and Neveo are set to be in stock within three months, both featuring Araya wheel sets, reverse wheel tensions and more.

Many cyclists have been signed up to market the brand – including Andrei Burton, Ben Savage, Scott Wilson, Joe Seddon, Karl Donnelly and Danny Swindlehurst. It’ll also sponsor the British National Series.

At the time of the show the VELORBIS brand was still new to Moore Large. The line-up of German-made, Dutch-owned bikes appeal to the growing classic and fixie market, with an emphasis on fashion and practicality, with design and quality to boot. ML told show-goers that Velorbis bikes are hand made, not hand built, and they’re already in demand – with the bike now stocked in Harrods. Three models make the initial Velorbis offering – Dannebrog, Churchill Classic and the Victoria Classic. The bikes have already been covered in the national press, including The Independent, The Times and ladies mag Zest, while the Churchill Classic has even featured on Desperate Housewives. ML has an introductory offer for dealers as it grows the brand in the UK.

Parts, accessories and clothing

Naturally it wasn’t just about the bikes themselves, Moore Large’s parts and accessory brands also formed a key part of the show. LIMAR helmets, now exclusive to the distributor, include the Pro 104 –medium-sized at an incredibly light-weight 180g, a world-best according to Limar. The new 757 is a compact MTB-style helmet with 22 air vents and an RRP £69.99.

Limar also supports the children’s helmet market, with two options of the 124 helmets – which feature in-mould technology and are lightweight to protect the weakest part of little ‘uns – the neck. The 124 comes in a girl-appealing pink, while throughout the Limar range there is great emphasis on female-friendly designs and style.

The 60-year-old VANGARD brand had gained strong IBD support following introduction to the UK four years ago. It’s all about the base layers, with function paramount in its collection of standards. The firm told BikeBiz that Vangard produces garments that are tight-fitting and absorb sweat – unlike rivals – utilising moisture management. Even part of the Scandinavian army uses it.

Shoe specialist LAKE was another brand to bring lady-appeal, with at least one shoe designed for females in every category. Feminine feet usually have less volume so the need for female-only shoes is crucial.

The firm showed a £260 customisable shoe that requires the user to warm in an oven, then wear it so it moulds to the shape of the foot. Also up from Lake was a gym and outdoor shoe range – the I/O – so consumers don’t have to swap shoes on the way to and at the gym. Another Lake highlight was the MX140 boot which has the shoe ‘skeleton’ as the exterior and a waterproof sock inner.

The hugely creative KNOG brand has been one of ML’s biggest growing of the last three years. It’s easy to see why. Knog oozes style, while still being hugely functional – something it achieved right from the off with the Frog – a good looking light that requires no tools to fit. The firm showed its new glove range, including the Orca, the Love/Hate combo and the 8ball as featured on The new Dog bags were on show as was the NERD computer –set to land very soon. In four colours it has a ‘touchless’ screen and requires no tools to fit. With multi-tools, risquely named Porno Patches, new Boomer light and new POS option for IBDs, Knog is keeping up its practical, fashionable and cool reputation.

Other exclusive brands at the show included Kenda Premium Tyres, Jagwire Cables and Accessories, KMC Chains, Tifosi Eyewear, OK Baby Childseats, OnGuard Security Products plus SR Suntour Suspension Forks and Chainsets.

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